Darjeeling shutdown continues, Rajnath Singh appeals GJM to resolve issues through dialogues

Hill parties unite for Gorkhland strike to go

Tamang claimed his house was "raided and vandalised by the police and the Trinamool Congress cadres" in the same manner as they had raided party chief Bimal Gurung's house in Darjeeling district two days ago.

A state government official later said: "The problem has become acute as the area has some global borders from where arms were reportedly being smuggled into the hills for the past few months".

The area virtually turned into a battlefield as protests marked the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown which spilled out onto the plains.

Terming the situation in the hills as "very very volatile", GJM leader Amar Singh Rai claimed a separate state of Gorkhaland is the biggest priority for them and rebuffed any possibility of discussions with the Bengal government.

In Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that Assistant Commandant of the IRB's 2nd Battalion Kiran Tamang was critically injured in the violence.

On Saturday, police and Gorkhaland supporters clashed with each other at various places in the Hills. I am told there is a connection with underground insurgents from the northeast India.

"If someone tries to scare me with a gun, the person may not realise that I have it in me to snatch away the gun", she said.

India's internal affairs minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: "All concerned parties and stakeholders should resolve their differences and misunderstandings through dialogue in amicable environment". The police said they are keeping a close watch on all the activities of GJM and will do the needful.

Almost 50 people, mostly police, have been injured in riots and arson attacks that have rattled the picturesque hill station for more than a week and caused thousands of mostly Indian tourists to pack their bags and flee.

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Earlier, hours after police raided Gurung's office and seized arms, cash and electronic gadget, Yuva Morcha leaders in Kalimpong set a government resort on fire besides attacking Darjeeling SP's (Akhiesh Chaturvedi) vehicle and the para-military forces with petrol bombs.

Security personnel in large numbers were deployed in the hills today after widespread clashes between GJM activists and the police were witnessed yesterday.

ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma, however, denied the allegation and said the police did not open fire.

"Police had not fired".

"In today's incident, two of our supporters were killed by the police. We can not tolerate this hooliganism", Sharma said. Official sources said that troops were patrolling in the entire hills.

The pro-Gorkhaland supporters were going to meet Bimal Gurung at Patlebas, the operational head quarter and residence of the GJM chief.

Gorkhas across the country began uploading blank black photos as their profile picture on Facebook as a mark of protest soon after. People of the hills have come together to demand separate Gorkhaland.

"I want peace to be restored in the hills", Banerjee said adding that Tourism Minister Goutam Deb and PWD Minister Arup Biswas will take full care of the hills.

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